Best of EnemiesAbout the Film
In 1968, against a backdrop of civil unrest and growing opposition to the war in Vietnam, American citizens faced a particularly contentious presidential election. ABC News hired two ideologues with diametrically opposed political views to engage in a series of live, televised debates during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. On one side was William F. Buckley, Jr., the founder of the National Review and a leader of the new conservative movement. To his left—far, far left—was Gore Vidal, a liberal Democrat and outspoken essayist. As battle lines were drawn, and insults got personal, the result was unpredictable, electrifying, and utterly captivating, as revealed in this entertaining new film from Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, NFF 2013). The fascinating exploration of these larger-than-life personalities opens a window into a time in American society before round-the-clock, partisan television news, a time when audiences were unable to avoid opinions that conflicted with their own and instead had to engage in—and perhaps be influenced by—a shared discourse of ideas.
Robert Gordon in attendance